Cocktail Meatballs – Martha’s Monday Munchies

There are so many different ways to make these yummy little meatball appetizers. This time we went with homemade since I was cooking regular meatballs to freeze for pasta dinners at the same time, and because I had a helper too. Don’t worry, I’m all about easy and will give you several really easy alternatives at the end of this entry if you don’t want to start from scratch 🙂


  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of fresh minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  • 16 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 12 oz chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
These are so sweet, tart and tangy all at the same time – really yummy! Just mix all ingredients for meatballs, make up small meatballs and pan fry or bake for about 30 minutes at 350 (I’m Italian so all meatballs get pan fried here).

Mix and heat all ingredients for the sauce, bring to a slight bubbling boil stirring often until all well blended. Put cooked meatballs into a crock pot, pour sauce over the top. Keep on low until serving time.

I like to make them the day before so the meatballs have time to marinate in the sauce (they can be frozen too so make extras!). Then just put in the slow cooker to heat.

The Super Easy Versions – Buy small frozen meatballs and just add the sauce. Even easier versions of the sauce is simply a jar of chili sauce or BBQ sauce with a can of cranberry sauce or grape jelly – mix and match, it doesn’t matter which you choose. Some people use a bottle of BBQ sauce and a bottle of beer! Or you can always just use a brown gravy too. I’ve tried them all and they’ve been a hit each and every time!

Another Tip – I like to freeze some plain to serve over egg noodles with brown gravy for a quick main dish meal for another time.

Healthy Alternative – I’ve never tried it but I’m sure turkey, chicken or vegetarian meatballs would work great too.

*This entry previously posted at Menagerie